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Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:5-7 – A Temptation to Test God

Matthew 4:5-7 – A Temptation to Test God

|| Luke 4:9-12

MT4:5 Then the Devil took Jesus along into the Holy City[1] and stationed him on the Temple[2] battlement MT4:6 and the Devil said to him, “If you are a son of The God hurl yourself down, for it has been written [in Psalms],[3] ‘He will give His angels charge regarding you and upon their hands they will lift you so you will never strike your foot[4] upon a stone.’” [Psalm 91:11, 12] MT4:7 Jesus replied to the Devil: “Again it is written,[5] ‘You shall not put YHWH your God to the test.’[6] [Deuteronomy 6:16]

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Fotografía del Templo de Jerusalén en la maque...

Maquete of the Temple in Jerusalem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After being led by the Pneuma to be tempted into the desert [see also (James 1:13,)] Jeshua, the son of God, was taken to  the pinnacle of the temple, to overlook the city of Jerusalem, which has to be the capital of the Kingdom of God. Jesus once again is mislead by the thoughts which promise him that angels on their hands shall bear Jesus up when he jumps from the high wall.

Jesus did not want to test God. He had enough trust in Him and knew everything would happen like God had it in His Plan according His time set. Jesus also did not need a sign to have a proof who he was.  He was well aware that he was a son of David, a son of Abraham and a son of God. He also knew very well that God is the Most Powerful of all beings. He did not have to get a prove of that.  Satan, the adversary of God, also knows it very well that God is the Omniscience, Omnipotent, Absolute Sovereign. Both knew how the Elohim Hashem is the Most High Almighty Who conducts His army of angels like He wants to do it.

Jesus himself had to believe he was a son of God, like we should have to believe that as well likewise that Jesus is the sent one from God and not God Himself.

“”I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24 NIV)

In this world we may find lots of people who want to find out if God really exist or would do this or that for them. We also may find lots of people who have changed their god because when they prayed, asking their god to do a certain thing, when he did not do that, they left him or her. (This happens a lot in South America, where so called Catholics have a pleiade of gods and goddesses.)

In this fragment we do hear again one of the many “ifs” the adversary of God sows in the world.
He brings up to the sent one from God:

  1. If thou be the Son of God, turn stones into bread {#Mt 4:3 }
  2. If thou be the Son of God, leap from the top of the temple {#Mt 4:6 }

which shall later be repeated

At the Cross, if thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross

  1. The cry of the rabble {#Mt 27:40 }
  2. The cry of the soldiers {#Lu 23:37 }
  3. The cry of the thief {#Lu 23:39 }

Today in Christendom we still find lots of people who still not want to believe Jesus is the son of God, but prefer to make him a god son, hoping that he would do more and better things than his heavenly Father the Only One True God. They keep preferring to believe in some one who could be seen instead of trusting the One no man can see and live.

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[1] Holy City: Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem is called “the holy city” in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 11:2; 21:2, 10; 22:19).

[2] Temple: The Greek here is HIEROU.

[3] It has been written [in Psalms]: The Devil quotes Scripture. The quotation is Psalm 91:11, 12.

[4] Your foot: Is there a sarcastic allusion to Genesis 3:15?

[5] Written: The quotation is from Deuteronomy 6:16.

[6] Test: Compare 1 Corinthians 10:9.

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Preceding

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:1-4 A Wilderness Temptation

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning

Jehovah God Maker of the entire universe served by a well-trained army

Next:

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:8-11 – A Temptation to Gain World Rule

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:12-17 – Galilee Saw A Great Light

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:18-22 – The Calling of the First Disciples

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

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Additional reading

  1. satan or devil
  2. First month of the year and predictions
  3. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  4. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  5. A Start for looking at the unseen and the treasure to look forward to
  6. Looking at the seen and going for the unseen
  7. Song of Praise for the Elohim Set-Apart
  8. God’s wrath and sanctification

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Further reading

  1. Daniel Fast
  2. April 10, 2016
  3. Exodus 17:2 Testing The Lord By Grumbling
  4. Judges 6:36 | Fleece Moment
  5. The Temptation of Jesus
  6. January 7 Matthew 4:1-11
  7. SMS 145 Matthew 4:4
  8. Nothing to Prove
  9. Dubious Authority
  10. A journey in the Wilderness
  11. Miss Jane Pittman and the Temptation of Christ
  12. May 20 @ Luke 3-4
  13. The temptation of Jesus (Word among us)
  14. Temptation of Christ
  15. The Temptation’s of Christ Explained
  16. Food, Power, and Minions #1
  17. Food, Power, and Minions/ Today Woodstock, Tomorrow the World!
  18. Food, Power, and Minions #3
  19. Mathew 4: Lessons from the temptation of Jesus
  20. Are We Testing God?
  21. Christians & Depression IV: The Truth
  22. Dead Sea Blues
  23. Wilderness, Temptation, & Life…
  24. Temptation, and Beauty
  25. Here’s an honest admisson, maybe you can identify with me
  26. Do You Require Proof?
  27. Letting go of the fear of the darkness
  28. When we mess up: Jesus was tempted in every way we are
  29. Wilderness Jesus: Sermon for Lent 1, 2016
  30. The Wilderness of Lent: A Sermon for the First Sunday in Lent, 2016
  31. Why Jesus is not Like Evel Knievel
  32. Trusting in God Alone
  33. Lead me into temptation – just one more time!
  34. Getting Testy
  35. Are We Testing God?
  36. Tribulation: Temple or Tabernacle Tent

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Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #8 Selective Bibles and selective people

Some Christian bibles which followed the new knowledge of Hebrew words and used more the Jewish way of saying were condemned or considered ‘from the devil’ by several Christian groups.

The 2000 edition of the New Oxford Annotated Bible, with the NRSV text

New English Bible cover.jpgEven more aggressive than the New English Bible (NEB, 1961-1970), undertaken by the major Protestant churches of the British Isles, for which scholars translated from the best Hebrew and Greek texts, aiming to present the full meaning of the original in clear and natural modern English, the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Christian Bible (1989) for their translating Isaiah 7:14 as “young woman” was burned in fundamentalist pulpits and the RSV committee was accused of being in league with the devil. Despite all the uproar, in the first year, the RSV sold 2 million copies. Until the appearance of the NRSV, it enjoyed wide use on college campuses, especially in study editions such as the Oxford Annotated Bible (OAB) with contributors from mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, and non-religious interpretative traditions.

The continuing committee of the RSV and NRSV has been working and publishing for half a century: the New Testament (1946), the Old Testament (1952), the books of the Apocrypha (1957), a second edition of the New Testament (1957), an Oxford Annotated Bible with a Catholic imprimatur (1966), an ecumenical [for Protestants, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox] expanded edition with the Apocrypha (1977), a 40% condensed version of the bible: Reader’s Digest Bible (a project, led by John E. Walsh, which took seven editors three years to complete), which abridged the Old Testament to one-half of its original length (1982), and the NRSV (1989).

The Open Bible edition of the New American Standard Bible in the Church of Saint Mary, an Episcopal Church in Sagada, Mountain Province, the Philippines.

In those version one can find  more radical than the slight alterations in the most literally translated New American Standard Bible (NASB 1971 last updated in 1995) which sought to render grammar and terminology in contemporary English or the New King James Bible (NKJV 1982), which are both revisions of the KJV.
Richard Whitaker provided a concordance for the RSV in 1980. The NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible was published in August 1997.

Mostly conservative (Republicans & Tea party) Americans where against the better translations than those of the 17th century. They also resisted to accept that Biblical characters had Jewish names and lots of English people have difficulties to see those names restored. Bibles with names like Moshe for Moses and Jeshua (the real name of the Messiah) instead of the more popular English name Jesus (Issou = Hail Zeus) or where the noun was translated in a subject instead of what they were used to see as a name, like Satan for an adversary or sheol/hades/hell for grave and not a place of doom.

Around the turn of the 20th century to the 21st century many were keen not to have to spent too much time at bible reading and wanted only to see those pieces in it they like or which are good for the pastor to concentrate his sermons on.

As such we can call the turn of the century the time of the “Selection Bibles”, books which were called bible but only presented a selection of the bible and in most cases even only selections from the New testament.

Readers Digest Illustrated Bible

Not a small handy Bible, but more a coffee table Bible the Readers Digest Illustrated Bible could get some people interested to not only look at the nice pictures but to go and read the ‘illustrative’ text. Originally printed in 1990 it got many reprints and its popularity caused other editors also to present some illustrated and thematic condensed Bibles.

In shortening the text some went very far and some even tried to bring the language of their condensed bile translation in what they called a modern language,even presenting a bible in American slang and in the language of rappers. That Rapper’s Bible was one of the many short-lived versions which seemed to try to see the day light.

Today’s English Version

The Today’s English Version (also known as the Good News Bible) is a contemporary translation which according to the publishers seeks to state clearly and accurately the meaning of the original text in words and forms that are widely accepted by people who use English as a means of communication. It is is designed to be easy to read for those who are not familiar with the Bible. This translation does not follow the traditional vocabulary and style found in the historic English Bible versions. Instead it attempts to present the biblical content and message in standard, everyday, natural English and takes a lot of liberties in the way of translation the original texts. The aim of this Bible is to give today’s readers maximum understanding of the content of the original texts, which they try to do by telling what they think the text is wanting to say.

Good News Bible book cover.png

The international cover of the Good News Bible, used since 2004.

Some of the end of century translations said to have chosen to bring a dynamic equivalence, bringing the Hebrew and Greek  in a translation “thought for thought” rather than “word for word”.  But their paraphrasing went sometimes even further than the Good News Bible (GNB), which first had the Messianic writings presented under the title Good News for Modern Man in 1966. That version became anglicised into British English by the British and Foreign Bible Society with the use of metric measurements for the Commonwealth market, and got also known as Today’s English Version (TEV).

Like the GNB several editors tried to bring an English bible for non-native English speakers. The GNB was born out of the translation theories of linguist Eugene Nida, the Executive Secretary of the American Bible Society’s Translations Department. For some dialect versions and the Rapper’s bible we have no idea who created such translations.

Jargon-free English was used for the Contemporary English Version (also known as Bible for Today’s Family) in 1995, originally published by the American Bible Society and for the anglicised version by the British and Foreign Bible Society.

On of the books bringing a selection of the New testament was the “Youth Bible” which was also translated in many other languages and found its way in our regions as the “Jongeren Bijbel” with fluent contemporary Netherlands Dutch. It had a clear Pentecostal touch with its design and purpose to bring youngster to Jesus. With smashing yellow markings phases or words were enlightened to give an idea what the bible wanted to say. Though several notes, from Pentecostal view point, mislead people and wanting them to believe Jesus is God and that it was Jesus who had done and said certain things in the past, which God had done.

Looking at the way our society was going the  intention of that Youth Bible was not bad. The teenage years can be difficult and even in this day and age of more communication and better follow up in schools, the growing up youngsters encounter many difficult things they do not dare to talk or cannot talk about with their parents.  Lonely as most teens struggle to fit in and take on new responsibilities, media and peers both constantly bombard youth with the message that they are never good enough and will never measure up. No wonder most teens end up hopeless and lonely! Teens can use as much encouragement and love as we can give them! For that reason such a selection of bible verses was a real good thing. The given Bible verses for teens were a good selection to offer words of comfort and hope to our youth.  But the publishers better had called the book a selection of the New Testament.

On this line of thinking several other Youth bibles got published. As such we can find the New Century Youth Bible, first published in 1993, which has consistently been among the top three selling Bibles in the UK. The the New Century Youth Bible is based on the New Century Version which has its roots extending to the English Version for the Deaf (EVD) Bible translation (by the World Bible Translation Center, a subsidiary of Bible League International), and is a revision of the International Children’s Bible (1986) which was aimed at young readers and those with low reading skills/limited vocabulary in English. It is written at a 3rd grade level (from the introduction) and is both conservative and evangelical in tone.

The base for the New Century Youth Bible, the NCV had a translation team of 50 Bible scholars and translators which included people with translation experience on such acclaimed versions as the New International Version, the New American Standard Bible, and the New King James Version [(1982) The anglicized edition originally known as the Revised Authorized Version (RAV) New Testament 1979, Psalms in 1980, Old Testament and full Bible in 1982], claiming that the best available Hebrew and Greek texts were used, principally the third edition of the United Bible Societies’ Greek text and the latest edition of the Biblia Hebraica, along with the Septuagint.

The original New Century Version got first the New Testament published in 1978 followed by the Old Testament in 1986, released as the New Century Version in 1987. The NCV has been available as a stand-alone version since 1991.

This revised edition claims to bring the Youth Bible right up-to-date for the twenty-first century. Whilst retaining the original Anglicized text, this revised edition has over 25 of its Life Files replaced or updated. There are also new categories on subjects such as music, euthanasia and the environment. Also in the collage edition are new categories subjects included such as stress, music, image, euthanasia and the environment. What is very good about it is that this time there is also an  updated dictionary and topical concordance; Book-openers – practical introductions to help focus the  youngsters their reading; and a free limited edition CD featuring some new music.

Probably we may count the “Soul Survivor” Bible of “NIV Soul Survivor Youth Bible” in line with the “Youth Bible” but than with texts from the originally published in the 1970s, having received updates in 1984 and 2011 English translation of the Protestant Bible edited by Biblica [formerly the International Bible Society (IBS)]

Easy to Read Version

The English Version for the Deaf on which Ervin Bishop and deaf-language specialist Benton Dibrell worked closely together, was also the base for Ervin Bishop’s Holy Bible: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV). It uses the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (1984) as its Old Testament text with some readings from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Also, it follows the Septuagint when its readings are considered more accurate. Those who worked on the EVD/ERV followed conservatively the approach to translation that Nida calls ‘dynamic equivalence,’ referred to by Beekman as ‘idiomatic’ translation” and using a gender-neutral languagehttps://www.accordancebible.com/files/images/156499-custom.pngHaving Billy Graham Evangelistic Association behind the Everyday New Testament (Minneapolis: World Wide Publications, 1988) could have made it more popular. In 1988 Sweet/Worthy Publishing was acquired by Word Publishing, which in 1991 published another revision. This 1991 revision was more extensive, and it was designed to make the version more suitable for an older readership, with longer sentences and more fluent style. In 1992 Word Publishing was acquired by Thomas Nelson Publishers, which continued to print the 1991 revision under the name, New Century Version.

An other good bible translation in the language youngsters easily can understand (lower grades), which also was translated into a 12 year old children’s understanding Dutch is the Living bible or the Life Application Bible (1986/88) presented in Dutch as “Het Leven, Praktische lessen uit Het boek” (2001 Ed; Jongbloed-Heerenveen) as a a Study Bible published by Tyndale House Publishers. It has been available in a number of editions that use various Bible translations, and in Belgium was presented in English and Dutch with the paraphrased version “The Book” (“het Boek”) as basic bible text. The contemporary, easy-to-understand Bible is available in the fastest growing Bible translation, the New Living Translation, impacting the hearts and lives of people worldwide through the authoritative yet easy-to-read Bible translation that brings the Good News alive to readers of all ages. Designed for someone who is new to the Bible or for an unbeliever, The Book features a topical helpfinder, book introductions, and indexes that help people understand God’s Word.

We noticed that that version could bring many to understand the Bible better and to get interested to get to know the ‘real text’ which made them continuous bible students. fro such this could be a version we could recommend for young people, next to the Watchtower Youth bible, which offers a selection of bible texts in an easily told way.

Front CoverWanting to help developing healthy habits is one of the keys to successful living. Experts say that if we do something for 21 days straight, we can turn it into a habit for a lifetime. With that in mind the Life Application Bibles were created. One of the best habits anyone can develop is reading the Bible every day. “The Book: 21 Day Habit” is designed to help you get started. Set aside just a few minutes each day – before bedtime, on your lunch break, or whenever your day allows to read “The Book: 21 Day Habit,” When you finish the 21 days of reading, move right into “The Book” and keep on going.

Front CoverIn the continuing line of “The Life” an expanded book version of the Living Water for Those Who Thirst audio devotional was created. We best call it a topical devotional containing 150 refreshing encounters with God’s Word. Passages are introduced with a lead-in reflection, and each segment concludes with a short devotional that brings it all together. References for numerous related passages are also included for those who wish to expand their devotional time or study the topic further. It features 150 topics! Flexible–short devotions with references for deeper study.

We do like to remind all that for those life application books the language is not at all correctly accurate. The NLT is based upon Kenneth N. Taylor’s corrupted Living Bible (1971), which sold over 40 million copies in North America alone. Somehow the Bible searches for compromises but still has a very evangelical background, avoiding words which can make it clear that Jesus is a human being. As such for example is left out that we are saved by the blood of Christ and is translated “Salvation through Jesus Christ” (Page A47), having the ‘blood of Jesus’ a taboo subject in those days. Though when people would read it carefully they also could find “So we have these three witnesses.” instead what is translated in the KJB – “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” That could still bring the readers to think about the spoken characters which bring witness in unity of mind. Though many trinitarians where offended not finding three names bearing record in heaven.

In a time that more than 200 new English Bible translations were published just within 30 years, several of those publication tried to put the accent on Jesus as the God, omitting Old Testament texts or doing as if in certain Old Testament texts Jesus was saying or doing something when it was Jehovah God doing it, just to give their (false) proof that Jesus would be God.

The NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha

The NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of those selective bibles directed to a special group of people. As such we could find a Housewife Bible (also translated in Dutch, presented in a handy pocket bible format: Huisvrouw Bijbel), a Workman’s Bible (with Dutch version Werkmans Bijbel) and even a Prisoner’s Bible (also in a pocket size edition in Dutch, presented as the “Gevangenis Bijbel, Gods Woord voor gevangenen”). The idea behind that last one was that God must have a special place in his heart for prisoners. according to the publishers this  is shown by the frequent mention of prison and prisoners in his word, imprisonment being one of the most wretched situations into which humans can fall in this world.

The Prisoner’s Bible wanted to buck up the many prisoners in this world. With the knowledge that prisoner movements and activities are restricted, not only are they deprived of family ties and forced to dwell in some of the most vicious company on earth, it wanted to show them there is hope. Also where they can feel they are left on their own in a slave-like relationship where others who care little for their well-being, order them about, and even abuse them, there exist Some One Who is with them all the time. The small book they can have in their cell or take with them can bring them comfort and shows how God, whose love and mercy cause him to commiserate with the downtrodden, sympathizes with the sufferings of prisoners, and how the Bible speaks often, and with compassion, of those in prison.

Though the majority of prisoners mentioned in the Bible were not rebels, but rather saints cast into prison as a result of their faithful witness, their feelings and thoughts could be of good help to our present prisoners, and the bible fragments looked well chosen for the subject and its readers.

https://i0.wp.com/isr-messianic.org/assets_c/2012/06/scriptures-leather-thumbs-1-thumb-850xauto-342.jpg

The Scriptures – Leather-binding with thumbs

But all such prints with only a selection of the 66 books of the given Word of God, we can hardly really call a Bible. But the multiple versions published including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 of the New Testament, we can find is mostly caused by publishers seeing an opportunity to fill their till. Some used the popular names for it whilst others went back to the writings using the name they could find by the Gospel writers themselves. The names given to the Old Testament in the writings of the New are “the scriptures” (Matthew 21:42), “scripture” (2 Peter 1:20), “the holy scriptures” (Romans 1:2), “the law” (John 12:34), “the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms” (Luke 24:44), “the law and the prophets” (Matthew 5:17), “the old covenant” (2 Corinthians 3:14, R.V.).

Concerning “the scriptures” we can think of any religious texts but in our next chapter we look at the ‘revolt’ in bible publishing world from the 1990ies onwards.

 

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Find also

  1. Reader’s Digest Bible
  2. A Curiosity – the Readers Digest Bible
  3. The New Century Version (English Version for the Deaf, Easy-to-Read Version, International Children’s Bible, Everyday Bible)
  4. Website of the World Bible Translation Center: Bible League International
  5. World Bible Translation Center God’s Word or God’s Words? By Ervin Bishop, Senior Translation Consultant, World Bible Translation Center. Bishop’s article defends the “dynamic equivalence” approach by arguing that “the Bible is the Message of God expressed in the words of men.” (Also here.)
  6. New Living Translation
  7. The Book NLT
  8. The Scriptures (Online version)

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Preceding articles:

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 King James Bible versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #3 Women and versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #4 Steps to the women’s bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #5 Further steps to women’s bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #6 Revisions of revisions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #7 Jewish versions

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Additional reading

  1. Creator and Blogger God 8 A Blog of a Book 2 Holy One making Scriptures Holy
  2. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  3. Book of books and great masterpiece
  4. Absolute Basics to Reading the Bible
  5. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers
  6. Finding and Understanding Words and MeaningsArcheological Findings the name of God YHWHMeaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls for Judaism and ChristianityDead Sea scrolls at Drents Museum in Assen
  7. Looking at notes of Samuel Ward and previous Bible translation efforts in English
  8. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name
  9. The NIV and the Name of God
  10. Wycliffe Associates supporting underground Bible translators
  11. HalleluYah Scriptures
  12. World’s tiniest bible to be presented at Israel Museum for 50th anniversary

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Recommended reading

  1. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 1: Introduction + Is the King James Version the “only inspired Bible”? + What about the claim that the 1611 edition of the King James Bible alone is “the Word of God”? + What About the Ancient Manuscripts of the Bible?
  2. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 2: False or Irrelevant Claims About the KJV [King James Version] and New Translations
  3. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 3: Do Modern Versions Corrupt the Purity of God’s Word? #1 The Deity of Christ
  4. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 4: Do Modern Versions Corrupt the Purity of God’s Word? + #2 The Deity of Christ
  5. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 5: Were There Heretics and Occultists on the Translation Committees of the New Versions?
  6. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 6 : Are Modern Versions Less Readable than the King James Version (KJV)? + Riplinger’s Errors on the NKJV

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Further reading
  1. The Modern English Version — First Thoughts
  2. In defense of smaller Bibles
  3. ESV Single Column Reference Bible
  4. Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 22)
  5. Plans and circumstances -September 5, 1982
  6. Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible
  7. Muslim Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Qu’ran
  8. Lent: Let the Bible readings begin!
  9. Make the Right Choice
  10. protection
  11. It’s A Matter Of Life and Death!
  12. A New Bible Translation Classification System
  13. KJV – King James Version available in OneVerse Bible app
  14. NASB – The New American Standard Bible available in OneVerse Bible
  15. Which Bible Version can I Trust?
  16. Which Bible Should I Use?
  17. It Pleased The Father
  18. An answer to YouTuber WWUTT
  19. Differences in KJV editions
  20. Why I believe the King James Bible is God’s word preserved in the English language…
  21. Hungry? Don’t Read KJV!
  22. The NIV: the ‘holey’ bible
  23. Catholic Doctrine in New Versions
  24. The ESV “contrary to” Syntax
  25. New Age Deism
  26. Understanding Scripture
  27. Translation Principles
  28. An Argument about Bible Versions with Christians
  29. The Logic of Perfection
  30. Where’s “Clayton’s Bible”?
  31. The Action Bible
  32. The Received Text
  33. Questioning what God has said. 
  34. How I read the bible
  35. The Deutero-canonical Books of the Bible
  36. Which is the best English Bible?
  37. Is the KJV superior to the originals?
  38. New Version Errors
  39. ‘Edgy’ Bible Translations Often Overlooked
  40. A Succinct Critique of the Amplified Version of the Bible

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Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #5 Further steps to women’s bibles

In the Wild West women took care their children got a knowledge of the Word of God. In the growing states of the New World the oral tradition of the Word of God ensured the Gospel-readings spreading.

For millennia prior to the invention of writing, which is a very recent phenomenon in the history of humankind, oral tradition served as the sole means of communication available for forming and maintaining societies and their institutions. Moreover, numerous studies — conducted on six continents — have illustrated that oral tradition remains the dominant mode of communication in the 21st century, despite increasing rates of literacy. {Encyclopaedia Britannica}

The States got some very strong ladies, creating schools and congregations where women told in their own words what was written in the Holy Scriptures. In the early nineteenth century, at the European continent and in the colonies where the largest, most influential churches like Catholics and Church of England reigned, they like Presbyterians, and the Episcopalians (or Anglicanism and Episcopal Church in the United States of America) forbade women to preach. In the New World women proved their necessity for leading everything in good directions. Searching the bible and having met people from different denominations many came to conclusions which made them to form newer groups. In a small number of those denominations, particularly the Congregationalists, the restrictions on women’s religious speech became challenged. Professor of Religions in America and the History of Christianity in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, Catherine Brekus whose works have included a history of female preaching in America, entitled Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, 1740 – 1845 (1998) and a history of early evangelicalism based on a woman’s diaries, entitled Sarah Osborn‘s World: The Rise of Evangelicalism in Early America (2013), writes.

“Anti-authoritarian, anti-intellectual, and often visionary, they deliberately set themselves apart from the ‘worldliness’ of established churches by insisting that God could choose anyone — even the poor, uneducated, enslaved, or female — to spread the gospel.”

She briefly traces the story of evangelicals — especially Free Will Baptists, Christian Connection, northern Methodists, African Methodists, and Millerites — who allowed women to preach.

Benjamin Randall (1749-1808) main organizer of the Freewill Baptists (Randall Line) in the Northeastern United States.

Inspired by the preaching of the lay exhorter Benjamin Randall in New Hampshire that Free Will Baptist Association was formed in 1782. By 1780 the various Baptist groups had formed around 450 churches, a number exceeded only by Congregationalists with about 750 and Presbyterians with some 490. With the disappearance of a Puritan orthodoxy at the beginning of the eighteenth century the Congregational churches, whose ideas were based on the priesthood of all believers, developed by Robert Browne and Henry Barrow, and were Calvinist in tone, had opened the way for women preaching and for people telling with their own words what was written in the Bible.

The gradual collapse of state religious establishments after ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1789 served Baptist purposes, and by 1800 they had become for a while the largest denomination in the nation, with almost twice as many adherents as the second-ranked Congregationalists. Those Baptists supported the creation of colleges, seminaries, tract societies, and missionary agencies. Educated leaders provided the impetus for the creation in 1814 of a General Missionary Convention, soon called the Triennial Convention, to sponsor home and foreign missions. Before long, it had allied itself with other agencies to promote publication and education. Several groups considered themselves to be a continuation of the first church where followers of Christ, men and women tried to bring people to God and have them baptised by immersion, the only true form of Christian baptism. At the end of the 20th century it would be the pressure of the major trinitarian Baptist groups, like the 13.9 million Southern Baptist Convention which would make the non-trinitarian Baptists looking for other congregations, but still leaving 26,7 million U.S.A. Baptists.

Brekus notes how fearing the colonies’ established churches had “quenched the spirit” by requiring college education for ministers, evangelicals said

“God could communicate directly with people through dreams, visions, and voices,”

and appealed to Joel’s promise (quoted by Peter at Pentecost) to invest

“female preaching with transcendent significance. Whenever a woman stood in the pulpit, she was a visible reminder that Christ might soon return to earth.”

Yet influenced by the wider culture, they did not think the Bible sanctioned their equality with men in Church, home, or political life. Rather than seeking ordination and settled pastorates, they remained itinerate evangelists. So, these biblical feminists were caught between two worlds — too radical to be accepted by evangelicals, but too conservative to be accepted by women’s rights activists. {Christian Reflection; A Series in Faith and Ethics}

Waves of Irish Presbyterians flooded into the middle and southern colonies, which tolerated their religious beliefs, and flowed into the unoccupied western regions. Some were established congregations who brought their ministers with them; most immigrated as individuals or in small family groups and were followed by clergymen. But the Presbyterian Church in England, re-established in 1844, was reported to have only 76 places of worship in 1851 — one-fifth the number of quaker meeting-houses. {J. A. Cannon; The Oxford Companion to British History; 2002}
A Plan of Union with the Congregational associations of New England that existed from 1792 until 1837 was disrupted when the Old School Presbyterians, favoring separate denominational agencies for missionary and evangelistic work, prevailed. The Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions was then established.

The P.C.U.S.A split in 1837 to become New School Presbyterians and Old School Presbyterians.

The P.C.U.S.A split in 1837 to become New School Presbyterians and Old School Presbyterians.

Placing great importance upon education and lifelong learning the Presbyterians and their missionary schools also prepared others to think about the Word of God and to spread it around.

Several men and women brought their notes to the bible words and also did not mind when preaching to quote freely from the bible. In this way the Americans got used to an easy fluent language to tell about God His sayings and wonders.

Gradually, the evangelicals’ educational systems, church organizations, and worship styles became more like those of churches that had been established and wealthy in the colonial era but many Bible students, followers of Dr. John Thomas and of Charles Taze Russell continued to spread the Word of God in their own words and in Bible fragments translated to American English in tracts and magazines.

The Christadelphians offered people the Wilson’s polyglot translation for free. When Benjamin Wilson died in 1900, his heirs inherited the plates and copyright. When they were approached by Charles Taze Russell, then president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, he via a third party obtained the copyright, and at some later point, the plates. The Society published the Diaglott in 1902, and later had the type reset for publication on its own presses in 1927, with an additional printing in 1942.

Much discussion went on between the other Bible-student parties involved in the first edition and still using the version in their churches or ecclesia. Unto the exclusiveness to reprint the polyglot for public release the Christadelphians and Wilson his church had to keep reproduction only for their own members.
In 2003 the MiamiChurch of the Blessed Hope with support from Christadelphians in the United Kingdom and the United States published their own edition, with a new preface, and where pleased the Emphatic Diaglott at last came home again.

Christadelphians, Watchtower Biblestudents and others looked at the return of Christ, a terrible war where nations would get against many other nations, but also were aware that Jerusalem would be restored after some time.

Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843–1921) American theologian, minister, and writer whose best-selling annotated Bible popularized futurism and dispensationalism among fundamentalist Christians.

From English and Puritan descent the American orphan Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843–1921) converted to evangelical Christianity through the testimony of a lawyer acquaintance. He came under the mentorship of James H. Brookes, pastor of Walnut Street Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, a prominent dispensationalist premillennialist. He also attempted with limited success to take charge of Dwight L. Moody‘s Northfield Bible Training School, and served as superintendent of the American Home Missionary Society of Texas and Louisiana; and in 1890, he helped found Lake Charles College (1890–1903) in Lake Charles, Louisiana and in 1914 founded the Philadelphia School of the Bible in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (now Cairn University)

Scofield’s premillennialism seemed prophetic.

“At the popular level, especially, many people came to regard the dispensationalist scheme as completely vindicated.”

Scofield Reference Bible, page 1115. This page includes Scofield’s note on John 1:17, which some have interpreted to mean that Scofield believed in two means of salvation.

The first bible translation, since the Geneva Bible (1560), to bring a commentary on the biblical text alongside the Bible instead of in a separate volume, also attempted to date events of the Bible in its second edition (1917) eight years after its first edition. This Scofield Reference Bible, published by Oxford University Press in 1909 contained the entire text of the traditional, Protestant King James Version, and became a widely circulated study Bible edited and annotated by this American Bible student Cyrus I. Scofield, whose notes teach futurism and dispensationalism, a theology that was systematized in the early nineteenth century by the Anglo-Irish clergyman John Nelson Darby, one of the influential figures among the original Plymouth Brethren (Christian brethren, or Darbyites) and the founder of the Exclusive Brethren, (who like Scofield had also been trained as a lawyer).

John Nelson Darby (1800–1882) Anglo-Irish Bible teacher, one of the influential figures among the original Plymouth Brethren and the founder of the Exclusive Brethren.

In 1867 ex curate in the Church of Ireland parish of Delgany, County Wicklow, Darby had presented a translation of the New Testament which he revised for the editions in 1872 and 1884.  He declined however to contribute to the compilation of the Revised Version of the King James Bible. After his death, some of his students produced an Old Testament translation based on Darby’s French and German translations in which we may see Darby’s dependence on W. H. Westcott’s Congo vernacular Bible, Victor Danielson’s Faroese work and the Romanian Bible published by G.B.V. and Dillenburg, Germany (GBV)

It was after 25 years serious research that in 1881 the British bishop, biblical scholar and theologian, and Bishop of Durham, Brooke Foss Westcott (1825–1901) with Irish-born theologian and editor Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828–1892) had presented their “New Testament in the Original Greek” on the believe that the combination of Codex Bezae with the Old Latin and the Old Syriac represents the original form of the New Testament text. Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort their Greek translation was used as the base fro many later translations.

The Revised Version of the New Testament translators, 1881.

They also were asked to become translation committee members for the Revised Version which in the United States was adapted and revised as the “Revised Version, Standard American Edition” (better known as the American Standard Version) in 1901.

Those translations using the advanced knowledge of the newly found ancient manuscripts and better insight in the old language, received until today opposition from fervent “King James Only” people. Up to today those King James only people say that is the only worthy and true Bible, also forgetting that other people who speak an other language than would be deprived of God’s Word in the Bible. Those KJV-only people complaining that the or a new translation did not base their text on the 1611 KJV forget that it should not be based on that text but on the most original bible manuscripts we can find. The last straw is that many who swear by only the KJV itself do not use themselves the original version and worse even do not know what print edition they use and that this has many differences against the 1611 edition.

Problem with those KJV-only believers is that they want to have their church doctrines still confirmed in the new translations though those versions using the Name of God where it was placed, makes it clear about whom is spoken and about who speaks, so that no confusing is being made between God and Jesus and shows clearly that it are two different characters. Therefore, it mostly are ardent trinitarians who do not want to accept versions which come closer to the original ancient writings, because this way people believing in the Trinity may come to see that it is a human doctrine and not a Biblical doctrine, and as such they may come to see that the non-trinitarian churches are much more following God’s Word than their church want them to believe.

Lots of KJV-only people also do not want to have the real translation or a synonym for a word they use wrongly, like sheol or the hell which just means the grave or sepulchre, but when a bible translation like the NIV translates it with the “grave” they consider an attack on the KJV word of “hell” they understanding it to be a place of eternal doom and torture.

The KJV-only people believe that this English translation of the Authorised King James Version should never be changed, but do not see or forget that they themselves use also a changed version and not the original 1611 first version.

A staunch Seventh-day Adventist missionary, theology professor and college president was even more stepped on his toes when the Bible Students of the Zion’s Watchtower dared to bring out a modern English translation based on that Westcott-Hort translation and on the Greek texts of Nestle, Bover, Merk and others.

Not only women and children had asked for a less archaic Bible translation.

On December 2, 1947 a “New World Bible Translation Committee” was formed, composed of Jehovah’s Witnesses who professed to be anointed.

The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures was released at a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses at Yankee Stadium, New York, on August 2, 1950. The translation of the Old Testament, which Jehovah’s Witnesses refer to as the Hebrew Scriptures, was released in five volumes in 1953, 1955, 1957, 1958, and 1960. The complete New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was released as a single volume in 1961, and has since undergone minor revisions and standing strong between the 55 new English translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures which were published between 1952 and 1990.

They also reproduced The Greek transliterations for the Christian Greek Scripture portion of the Bible from the Westcott and Hort text in The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures (1969).

While critical of some of its translation choices, , associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A., Jason BeDuhn called the New World Translation a “remarkably good” translation, “better by far” and “consistently better” than some of the others considered. Overall, concluded BeDuhn, the New World Translation

“is one of the most accurate English translations of the New Testament currently available”

and

“the most accurate of the translations compared.”

in his 2003 book, Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament, which has generated considerable controversy for highlighting cases of theological bias in the translation process, by which, he argues, contemporary Christian views are anachronistically introduced into the Bible versions upon which most modern English-speaking Christians rely.

BeDuhn noted, too, that many translators were subject to pressure

“to paraphrase or expand on what the Bible does say in the direction of what modern readers want and need it to say.”

On the other hand, the New World Translation is different, observed BeDuhn, because of

“the greater accuracy of the NW as a literal, conservative translation of the original expressions of the New Testament writers.”

The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures by 2004 had been made available in 32 languages plus 2 Braille editions and two years later already in 57 languages.

The 1984 revised edition of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures richly enhanced accurate Bible knowledge by means of several distinctive features such as the marginal (cross) references, an extensive footnote apparatus, a concordance (Bible Words Indexed) and an appendix. Modern computerization has assisted greatly in preparing these features.

In the New World Translation an effort was made to capture the authority, power, dynamism and directness of the original Hebrew and Greek Scriptures and to convey these characteristics in modern English. They also made an end to the used of  now-sanctimonious formal pronouns thou, thy, thine, thee and ye, with their corresponding verb inflections.

Many trinitarians were not pleased with that translation which tried to give as literal a translation as possible where the modern-English idiom allows and where a literal rendition does not, by any awkwardness, hide the thought, but which also placed in the Hebrew text everywhere the tetragrammaton יהוה (YHWH) was notated, printed God’s Holy Name Jehovah. As such God His Name was again visible, like in the ancient manuscripts,  6,973 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and 237 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures. Though it may be called a pity that they also did not take the effort to put Jesus name right, not going for the Issou or “Hail Zeus“, but printing his real original name Jeshua.

With this word-for-word statement of the original in the hand the real followers of Christ could show those who call themselves Christian, but do follow the human doctrine of the Trinity, where they went wrong in their thinking and could show them that Jesus is the way to God and not God himself.

But in this clear up-to-date contemporary version many churches saw a danger for their followers who could be brought to other thinking than their denomination’s doctrines.

In the previous decades several paraphrased bible book translations had seen the light and many bible students also had used free translations in their pamphlets. This time taking liberties with the texts for the mere sake of brevity, and substituting some modern parallel when a literal rendering of the original makes good sense, had been avoided. Uniformity of rendering has been maintained by assigning one meaning to each major word and by holding to that meaning as far as the context permits. At times this has imposed a restriction upon word choice, but it aids in cross-reference work and in comparing related texts.

In rendering the sense and feel of the action and state of Hebrew verbs into English, it is not always possible to preserve the brevity due to a lack of corresponding colour in English verb forms. Hence, auxiliary words that lengthen the expression are at times required to bring out the vividness, mental imagery and dramatic action of the verbs, as well as the point of view and the concept of time expressed by the Bible writers. In general the same is true of the Greek verbs. Thus, imperfect verbs have been kept in the imperfect state denoting progressive action. Participles have been rendered as participles involving continuous action.

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Preceding articles:

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 King James Bible versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #3 Women and versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #4 Steps to the women’s bibles

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Additional reading

  1. Codex Sinaiticus available for perusal on the Web
  2. Bible Translating and Concordance Making
  3. Looking at notes of Samuel Ward and previous Bible translation efforts in English
  4. Written and translated by different men over thousands of years
  5. Rare original King James Bible discovered
  6. King James Bible Coming into being
  7. Celebrating the Bible in English
  8. TheBible4Life KJV Jubileum
  9. What English Bible do you use?
  10. The Most Reliable English Bible
  11. 2001 Translation an American English Bible
  12. NWT and what other scholars have to say to its critics
  13. New American Bible Revised Edition
  14. The NIV and the Name of God
  15. Archeological Findings the name of God YHWHUse of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  16. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  17. Hebrew, Aramaic and Bibletranslation
  18. Some Restored Name Versions
  19. Anchor Yale Bible
  20. iPod & Android Bibles
  21. Missed opportunity for North Korea
  22. What are Brothers in Christ
  23. Wanting to know more about basic teachings of Christadelphianism
  24. Around C.T.Russell
  25. A visible organisation on earth
  26. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  27. Jesus three days in hell
  28. Dead and after
  29. Sheol or the grave
  30. This month’s survey question: Heaven and Hell
  31. Interpreting the Scriptures (Part 5)
  32. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures (1)
  33. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures (2)
  34. Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
  35. To remove the whitewash of the Jehovah Witnesses as being the only true Bible Students and Bible Researchers
  36. Archaeology and the Bible researcher 2/4

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Further reading

  1. The Bible
  2. Where was the Bible before 1611? How can we know God endorsed the KJV?
  3. Earliest Known Draft of 1611 King James Bible Is Found
  4. KJV Onlyism: What It Does And Doesn’t Mean
  5. What’s wrong with the New King James?
  6. Is it true no doctrines are changed in modern versions?
  7. The King James AV 1611 Bible vs. The New International Version
  8. King James version (1)
  9. King James Version 2
  10. I got saved reading the NIV. How can you say it’s no good?
  11. Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible
  12. Why should God’s Word be restricted to English?
  13. Some Notes on Bible Translations
  14. Which Bible Translation?
  15. Is Christianity a paradox?
  16. Migration in a context of colonisation
  17. The sorrow and burden of it all
  18. A Belgian refugee in Maidenhead finds work
  19. When the boys come home…
  20. Do not be dissuaded by so paltry a matter as a change of time
  21. “I often wonder why I joined up”
  22. Dedicating the Powner Hall
  23. A dinner treat for the Congregational men
  24. Church Hill
  25. That We May All Be One: World Communion Sunday, 2015
  26. History, Empathy, and Race in America
  27. Empathy, racial reconciliation, and the study of history
  28. “The End of White Christian America”
  29. The calling we have in culture
  30. A. W. Tozer and the Historic Trinity
  31. Tozer’s Critique of Evangelical Christians
  32. Corporate Evangelicalism – Where did it come from?
  33. Defining Evangelicalism
  34. Decline and Fall
  35. Fundamentalism Will Kill You
  36. Progressive Evangelicals: Who We Are And What We Believe
  37. How Evangelicals are Losing an Entire Generation – by Amy Gannett
  38. On celebrating diversity within the church
  39. Evangelicalism is no longer growing–why?
  40. The Scofield Bible—The Book That Made Zionists of America’s Evangelical Christians
  41. Becoming a Liberal Christian Part I: High Church and Militant Evangelicalism
  42. Reformed Baptists and the Purity of the Church
  43. The Westminster Factor
  44. Of Polls, Presbyterians, and Seventh-Day Adventists
  45. Understanding the Presbyterian Model (Reformed the web)
  46. Understanding the Presbyterian Model (Chanty notes)
  47. “Episcopals Now Second Class Christians”: Anglicans Demote Episcopalians As Global Christianity Gets More Polarized
  48. Am I a Presbyterian?
  49. Daniel’s 70-Week Vision Series #18 – Part 94 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
  50. At the resurrection who is left behind?
  51. A Thousand Years
  52. News brings great joy
  53. Confirmation
  54. Bible Wars
  55. How Trustworthy Are Bible Translations?
  56. How I Know The King James Bible is the Word of God
  57. King James Only–Refuted part 2
  58. King James Only–Refuted (part 3)
  59. Ways in which Fundamentalists are discriminated against
  60. Between Christians
  61. Repentance From Dead Works: 3 – Don’t Forget Good Works Are Dead Works
  62. Communion – the most terrifying sacrament in the IFB church
  63. Spirit of our times.
  64. King James XX
  65. I believe the King James Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.  
  66. Is Modern Really Better?
  67. How some preachers trick you when defining Greek words!
  68. What’s wrong with the New King James?
  69. Is it true no doctrines are changed in modern versions?
  70. I got saved reading the NIV. How can you say it’s no good?
  71. Why should God’s Word be restricted to English?
  72. Transilvania în 1865, prin ochii lui Edward Millard – blogul unui duh întarâtat

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Jehovah’s Witnesses Circuit Assembly and a Pillar to freedom

A Mother and daughter

An other strange story which caught our attention. Again somebody who went to meet other Jehovah’s Witnesses, to attend the Jehovah’s Witnesses Circuit Assembly. This time that person could be a Jehovah’s Witness herself but did not like it so much, so why did she go in the first place.

She wrote

Between my being confined to the Jehovah’s Witness “way of life” and my parents being… the way they are, it makes it a challenge to maneuver things in order to spend those days with him as much as possible. {My Mother, the Bully}

She seems to be a daughter of a homemaker, a dedicated worker, a good JW, sensible, practical, giving, and responsible. She is a creator, artistic, free-minded, quite rebellious, self-focused according to her own saying {My Mother, the Bully}. Whilst her mother is repressed, self-disciplined, and morally bound she finds herself to be fluid, experimental, and abstract.

Could these things be at the root of a kind of jealousy? {My Mother, the Bully}

she wonders and let her thoughts linger

Does my reaching for more freedom trigger insecurities in her about her complete lack of it? {My Mother, the Bully}

Instability and felt mislead

Last April she felt like she exploded in anger and frustration towards “The Org”,

“telling M that I felt as if I had a “tiny elder in my head, screaming scriptures at me.” {Two Pillars of Freedom}

In this world everybody needs , and most of all youngsters are seeking some kind of stability when it comes to their spiritual beliefs or non beliefs and want to build up a spiritual life full of spiritual well-being. For many it may take years to find a place in the world of atheists and believers. Lots of people have to go on a calvary route to find their way to a belief, believing in God or not believing in a god or the God.

English: Personal bible study Português: Estud...

Personal bible study essential part for coming to the truth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For us serious bible students it surprises us that this girl, though when grown up in a JW family came to believe she is been completely misled about the Bible, and that she feels she is never really been taught about God. Not being JW, not knowing their exact ways of teaching in the church community, we only can see what they let the outside world to be known. From their public publications we can only get the impression they do everything to get others to know God. All their teaching seems very God centred when you leave out the misleading teachings of their organisation and the position of the 144 000.

A bait to trap many

We are aware of the danger where the writer finds her possible anger and disappointment. It is true that

The Organization could’ve used any bait to trap the masses. Organizations do it every day. Cults appeal to people’s desires for all kinds of things – this one appealed to the desire to understand the Bible & know “the truth” about God.

and then she gets to the core of the big problem (we think)

The Bible is only the bait for them, a secondary issue – The Organization is the primary concern: gaining and keeping peoples’ complete unquestioning obedience. If they can use the Bible in order to accomplish that, so be it. {Two Pillars of Freedom}

That last bit is naturally a serious accusation. But we fear that what we said already to so many people that those questions in their magazine and the way how they treat verses can be sometimes dubious and often smell to brainwashing (mind control)or indoctrination, the organisation having thought control over all its members.

Reminding who is the Way

Too many JW, like lots of so called Christians do forget that Jesus told he is the Way to God. The Bible also tells us that this sent one from God has become the high priest and the one mediator between God and man. This last saying excludes all human organisations as a necessity to link to God. Jesus (rabbi Jeshua) is our link to the Only One True God of Israel.
We do not need ordained priests, ministers or organisations to dictate what the Words of God say and to dictate what we do have to do or may not do, and control us. Guidance belongs to the Word of God itself. God did not provide such a difficult word to understand for mankind, which would exclude all uneducated people (Bété people or ‘bast shoes‘). No, all people, those who have been to school but also who have not been to school, should be able to understand God’s Word.

The bible does not speak about One and only one organisation that He would take, but He gives an indication by His only begotten son that there may be many different groups and organisations, all part of the Body of Christ and necessary for that Body of Christ. Many people think religion is wrong and endangers man, because than man would control them, but than they have chosen the wrong religion, because in the religious ways of the True God there is no man who should be in control of others, all man should give themselves into the hands of God, the Divine Creator, Who is not a man but a Spirit.

As people we can give ourselves to Christ, willing to be under his guidance. That is our choice and makes us to become Christians or ‘being Christian‘, it is following Christ Jesus.

Jehovah for millennia not using an organisation

Since the early Christians continually there were people who stayed truthful to Christ Jesus his teaching, no matter of the false teachers and churches coming into being. even when the pressure from the Roman empire became so great that lots of Christians chose to agree with Greco-Roman teaching of a three-headed god and chose to accept the Trinity. Though the Roman Catholic Church came into existence and later got many schisms, several God faithfully abiding continued their life of worship of the One and Only One True God. There was no world wide organisation at all to lead God’s People, like there was also no such organisation before the birth of Jesus. The shepherding of God’s People was done by individual men and women, who were chosen by God Himself (the nevim or prophets) or went for God, allowed by God to live and preach. The words given to mankind for enabling to find eternal life was not provided by man or a human organisation, but by God Himself. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

The JW Organisation claims erroneous that Charles Taze Russell is their founder. But he never claimed to be a prophet nor wanted a human directive organisation. He, like many  Biblestudents, very well knew that the gathering of people is done by God Himself and that The Word is a quality or aspect of God Himself.

As Facts About Jehovah’s Witnesses writes

Watchtower makes the claim that “Jehovah has always guided his servants in an organized way.” (You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth p.192) If that is the case, how were they guided and organised during the dark ages? What group represented God’s organization immediately prior to the formation of the Watchtower Society in the 1884 by Charles Russell, and why didn’t Russell just follow them? {Does Jehovah require an Organization?}

Does Jehovah require an Organization?

Watch Tower headquarters in Columbia Heights, Brooklyn.

When the Jehovah’s Witnesses Watchtower Bible and tract Society in Brooklyn with their different corporations [Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Religious Order of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Kingdom Support Services, International Bible Students Association (IBSA), Associação Torre de Vigia de Bíblias e Tratados (Brazil), Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses of East Africa, Los Testigos de Jehová en México, Wachtturm-Gesellschaft, Selters/Taunus (Germany), Watchtower Bible & Tract Society Of Australia, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Canada, European Association of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses (EAJCW)] would be the sole organisation under the direction of God and when it is changing so many times of its teachings, would this mean that God is not giving the full truth to His own chosen ones or that God is not sure what He can give them for information?

How can it be than when the organisation is God’s only instrument that members of it dispose one of their very important main writers like Raymond Franz, former member of the Governing Body? Does that mean that God first tells others a person is one of the 144 000 but then takes somebody else in his place and get rid of him after he has been used to produce an enormous amount of good literature? He was one of the researchers who created Aid to Bible Understanding, the first doctrinal and biblical encyclopedia of Jehovah’s Witnesses, published in full in 1971.

When the leaders of the Watchtower Society, the Governing Body, say themselves that they are appointed by Christ and the only means by which he directs his true followers today, how can they than demand certain people from the board to resign?

They themselves write

“Consider, too, the fact that Jehovah’s organization alone, in all the earth, is directed by God’s holy spirit or active force. (Zech. 4:6) Only this organization functions for Jehovah’s purpose and to his praise. To it alone God’s Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a sealed book.” Watchtower 1973 Jul 1 p.402

Saying this they also give the impression the bible is not yet complete or is not able to give full biblical Wisdom to mankind, without that body of God, their organisation.

“However, the Governing Body are appointed through the holy spirit under the direction of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ.” Watchtower 1990 Mar 15 p.18

 

When that Governing Body is appointed by God through His Holy Spirit how can it than be, when led by His Spirit, that there have been taken place so many disputes and that such dismissals occurred?

Would the organisation be the only means God can have contact with people nowadays? According to us that would place man above the Power of God, Him being not able to call people for Himself and to give them wisdom. As in the precious centuries it is still God Who calls people and gives insight to those who are willing to open their heart to Him, whatever there being The Organisation, a organisation or no organisation at all near to them.

Witnessing for Jehovah

A Jehovah’s Witness distributing literature at Marble Arch tube station in London

We are sure the Jehovah’s Witnesses may be part of that Body of Christ, members of people under Christ witnessing for Jehovah. But in many other denominations or churches you may find also people witnessing for this One and the Same God.

Strangely enough the organisation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses does not believe that individual people are able to bring men and women to God without their organisation. They consider themselves the only righteous way to God. This dismisses totally the position of Christ Jesus, who according to the Bible is the Way to God.

Key factor to being a Witness

According to us the key factor to being a Witness for Jehovah is to stand up for Him and not for one or another earthly organisation and when the Jehovah’s Witnesses Organisation would be a Godly organisation why did so many teachings changed and why did so many prophesies by them did not come through? Were people not warned for those who prophesied and whose prophesies did not come through? are we not told that such people could be false teachers?

We kindly ask our readers and all people walking around this earth to know that Jehovah’s Witnesses are not the only ones witnessing for Jehovah God.

It is belonging to the “Organization” that distinguishes one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and makes them feel solely worthy of salvation, but Jesus died for all people and God’s grace is given to all living souls.

Requirements for Salvation

The way the WBTS presents itself to mankind gives the impression that membership of their organization is essential for salvation. If this would be so, why were we not told by God Himself or by His son?

The word “organization” never appears in the Bible, yet organization appears 16,789 times on the 2006 Watchtower Library CD. This is because belonging to an organization is not a Scriptural requirement, but rather a common concept amongst high control groups as a technique of building a member’s high degree of conviction and uniformity. {Does Jehovah require an Organization?}

Though the Watchtower claims that belonging to an organization is essential for salvation.

To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.” Watchtower 1983 Feb 15 p.12

When you read the whole bible, the Hebrew and Messianic books, nowhere shall you find an indication of God going to provide a worldwide organisation other than the theocratic government of rabbi Jeshua from the new world’s capital Jerusalem.

It is not stated in either the Old or New Testaments that membership of an organization is a requirement of eternal salvation. The Scriptures repeatedly state that it is faith in Jesus and the Father that results in everlasting life. Instead we are told of salvation by the blood of Christ. It is not by keeping to certain rituals or organisations that we can receive salvation. We do not need to be a soldier of a worldly organisation but should be soldiers for Christ by whom salvation comes to us.

2 You, therefore, my child,+ keep on acquiring power in the undeserved kindness that is in Christ Jesus; and the things you heard from me that were supported by many witnesses,+ these things entrust to faithful men, who, in turn, will be adequately qualified to teach others. As a fine soldier+ of Christ Jesus, take your part in suffering adversity.+ No man serving as a soldier involves himself* in the commercial businesses* of life, in order to gain the approval of the one who enrolled him as a soldier. And even in the games, anyone who competes is not crowned unless he has competed according to the rules.+ The hardworking farmer must be the first to partake of the fruits. Give constant thought to what I am saying; the Lord will give you understanding* in all things. …  10 For this reason I go on enduring all things for the sake of the chosen ones,+ so that they too may obtain the salvation that is through Christ Jesus, along with everlasting glory {2 Timothy 2:2-7, 10)

    • 2 Timothy 2:10 Kingdom Interlinear
    • 10 διὰ through τοῦτο this πάντα all (things) ὑπομένω I am enduring διὰ through τοὺς the ἐκλεκτούς, chosen (ones), ἵνα in order that καὶ also αὐτοὶ they σωτηρίας of salvation τύχωσιν they might obtain τῆς of the (one) ἐν in Χριστῷ Christ Ἰησοῦ Jesus μετὰ with δόξης glory αἰωνίου. everlasting.

Faith in the sent one from God

It is by faith in the sent one from God, rabbi Jeshua, the Kristos or Christ Jesus, we may have the opportunity not to become destroyed but to have everlasting life. We all should all remember that everything which is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth: he that comes from heaven, the sent one from God, is above all. Him being above any organisation is the one we could and should follow, as brothers and sisters in him who has eternal life.

14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,+ so the Son of man must be lifted up,+ 15 so that everyone believing in him may have everlasting life.+

16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son,+ so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.+ 17 For God did not send his Son into the world for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him.+ 18 Whoever exercises faith in him is not to be judged.+ Whoever does not exercise faith has been judged already, because he has not exercised faith in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.+

31 The one who comes from above+ is over all others. The one who is from the earth is from the earth and speaks of things of the earth. The one who comes from heaven is over all others.+ 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard,+ but no man accepts his witness.+ 33 Whoever has accepted his witness has put his seal to it* that God is true.+ 34 For the one whom God sent speaks the sayings of God,+ for He does not give the spirit sparingly.* 35 The Father loves the Son+ and has given all things into his hand.+ 36 The one who exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life;+ the one who disobeys the Son will not see life,+ but the wrath of God remains upon him.+ {John 3:14-18, 31-36}

Connection with the son of God

Let us be sure to come to Jesus first, because not an organisation here on earth would be our gateway, but because Jesus is the door to the Kingdom of God.

44 How can you believe, when you are accepting glory from one another and you are not seeking the glory that is from the only God?+ {John 5:44}

So Jesus said again: “Most truly I say to you, I am the door for the sheep.+ All those who have come in place of me are thieves and plunderers; but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the door; whoever enters through me will be saved, and that one will go in and out and find pasturage.+ {John 10:7-9}

This means everlasting life,+ their coming to know you,* the only true God,+ and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.+ {John 17:3}

Living under Christ Jesus

Those who want to have everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of the Only True God, them having regret of what they have done wrong and asking for forgiveness, wanting to live under Christ, the one whom Jehovah sent forth and who belongs to God.

16 Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple+ and that the spirit of God dwells in you?+ 17 If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him; for the temple of God is holy, and you are that temple.+

18 Let no one deceive himself: If anyone among you thinks he is wise in this system of things,* let him become a fool, so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, for it is written: “He catches the wise in their own cunning.”+ 20 And again: “Jehovah* knows that the reasonings of the wise men are futile.”+ 21 So let no one boast in men; for all things belong to you, 22 whether Paul or A·polʹlos or Ceʹphas*+ or the world or life or death or things now here or things to come, all things belong to you; 23 in turn you belong to Christ;+ Christ, in turn, belongs to God. {1 Corinthians 3:16-23}

The Organisation playing the mediator of man and God, man and Christ

As the female writer of ‘Finding the truth: In recovery from Jehovah’s Witnesses & alcoholism‘ at last came to see, when she sees a

WT quote in direct opposition:

“The other sheep should never forget that their salvation depends on their active support of Christ’s anointed “brothers” still on earth.” WT March 15 2012 pg. 20 {Two Pillars of Freedom}

She concludes

Check and mate. It seems so obvious, so simple. The Org has taken it upon themselves to become the mediator of man and God, man and Christ; completely ignoring what the Bible has to say on the matter and making themselves Lords over man. {Two Pillars of Freedom}

There are more things, of course, that have been giving me evidence that The Org is not God’s ‘spirit-directed organization,’ but these two points seem to be building some kind of foundation in my mind. They seem to be the things that come closest to unraveling the whole thing; the answers to the tiny screaming elder in my head. I’ll keep building more until I can silence him completely, or maybe one day oust him permanently. {Two Pillars of Freedom}

We only can hope more people shall come to see the twists in their teachings and their focus on the organisation instead of focussing more on the works of Jesus and his heavenly Father.

+

Preceding articles

Oklahoma City Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses

An atheist writer meeting Jehovah’s witnesses far from home

Politics and power first priority #1

Charles Taze Russell and what he started

Was Russell and Rutherford “Illuminati”?

A Society pleading poverty

Following articles:

Jesus’ footstep followers, irrespective of sectarian lines

Authority from the one God to one mediator between God and men

++

Additional reading

  1. Religious Practices around the world
  2. Religions and Mainliners
  3. Denominationalism exists because?
  4. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
  5. Why is it that Christians don’t understand Muslims and Muslims do not understand Christians?
  6. Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians
  7. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  8. Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing
  9. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  10. In a world which knows no peace sharing blessed hope
  11. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  12. Breaking up with a cult
  13. Christianity without the Trinity
  14. Writers needed to preach to non-believers
  15. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  16. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult
  17. A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium
  18. Quibbling siblings united or allied children of an organisation or a church
  19. On the Affirmation of Scripture
  20. Not many coming out with their community name
  21. To remove the whitewash of the Jehovah Witnesses as being the only true Bible Students and Bible Researchers
  22. Around C.T.Russell
  23. Russell himself never claimed to be a prophet.
  24. Misunderstandings concerning C.T. Russell
  25. Surprising figures about Jehovah Witnesses
  26. Russell and his beliefs
  27. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell
  28. Bijbelonderzoekers en Russelism / Bible researchers and Russelism
  29. Charles Taze Russell never claimed to have found a new religion, or a new church.
  30. A visible organisation on earth
  31. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church
  32. When seeing a biblically sound church
  33. Ecclesia to exist, grow and communities to have people communicating with each other
  34. The Big conversation Why it matters
  35. Soviet Witnesses
  36. Date Setting
  37. A British judge rules that mother can’t indoctrinate son with religion
  38. Retrieving some older articles previously placed on Multiply
  39. Bringing Good News into the world
  40. Deaf helped in their ability to progress in this community
  41. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  42. Russia’s battle against the Jehovah’s Witnesses
  43. Jehovah’s Witnesses Shunning ex-members adverse effects on family relationships
  44. Disappointed expectations
  45. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  46. Saved through grace not through keeping rituals
  47. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  48. Sealed in their foreheads
  49. Solution for Willing hearts filled with gifts
  50. The Bride New Jerusalem
  51. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  52. Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth
  53. The one who set the standard
  54. Revelation 1:8 – Who is Speaking?
  55. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  56. A small company of Jesus’ footstep follower
  57. The longer you wait
  58. Preaching Christ Is Not Enough

+++

Further related articles

  1. Celebrating Christendom’s Demise?
  2. Nineteenth Century Protestant Doctrines of the Trinity
  3. “Should You Believe in the Trinity?”
  4. Why I Am a Christian.
  5. Christ didn’t come to help us, He came to Include us
  6. Change Your Village
  7. Pouring Into Others
  8. Who Are Jehovah’s Witnesses?
  9. “Ye Are My Witnesses, Saith Jehovah Baldwin: Arkansas Man Arrested For Firing Shots At Jehovah’s Witnesses Who Approached Him On His Lawn
  10. Rosary No More!! Why I Stopped Praying The Rosary!! (Testimony of a Former Roman Catholic)
  11. The Semiology of Jehovah’s Witnesses
  12. Prophecy, power and weakness
  13. Serena Williams and Jehovah’s Witnesses
  14. A Hymn From Christendom in July 2016 JW Broadcasting?
  15. Is it blind faith, or tradition?
  16. The Decision
  17. I Am Not A Victim
  18. Jehovah’s witnesses
  19. It is not a trip at all
  20. Day in the life..
  21. Why Do Some JWs Live A Lie?
  22. Do people get a second chance?
  23. Why do EX – Jehovahs Witnesses struggle to find a church?
  24. Conditional Love
  25. Sheep and Wolves
  26. Warning: You Might Get Kicked Out of the Kingdom Hall by a Donkey
  27. What to do with Jehovah’s Witnesses?
  28. Exodus Chapter 8
  29. Witness to Jehovahs like Frank & Joe Hardy
  30. Jehovah’s (False) Witnesses
  31. Trust issues…and then some
  32. Charles Taze Russell – “Don’t read your Bible”
  33. Watchtower Study June 5, 2016—Being Faithful Leads to God’s Approval
  34. Finding the Way
  35. World’s Fastest Growing Religion?
  36. A fallen Prince
  37. Prince found ’real happiness’ as Jehovah’s Witness, talking about Bible, longtime friend and bassist says
  38. A Different Sort of Church History 1
  39. Who were the Arians and what did they believe?
  40. Two Pillars of Freedom
  41. Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses preach?
  42. Two Classes Of Christians?
  43. Are Jehovah’s Witnesses Christian?
  44. My first false baptism
  45. You are Welcome to be Unwelcome….
  46. The Sting of Slavery
  47. Jehovah’s Witness Convention 2016—A Weekend of Robbery and Manipulation
  48. Review of talk at “Remain loyal to Jehovah” 2016 convention of Jehovahs Witnesses
  49. Jehovah’s Witness Convention 2016—Maintain Loyalty Symposium
  50. On False Prophets and False Accusers
  51. Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Worship of Jesus
  52. Growing up a Jehovah’s Witness—Anxiety at a Young Age
  53. Sgt. Robert Wilson III Ceremony for Valor Showcases Watchtower Hypocrisy
  54. Late Prince honored by Jehovah’s Witnesses
  55. The Picture of the Governing Body
  56. Witnessing to JW’s Enhances Witnessing to Others
  57. Is Watchtower Running out of Money?
  58. How Jehovah’s Witnesses Think
  59. Dating A Jehovah’s Witness
  60. Reminder for uncertain times: “Heeding advance warning can save your life!”
  61. Numbers in Scripture
  62. The Mark in the Forehead
  63. Who Do You Say Jesus Is?
  64. Religion Roundup
  65. #Islam & Muslim’s and the #Murder of a #Catholic so called #Priest in #France. More lying #Propaganda for the deceived Catholic’s. They actually think that they are being persecuted for their belief’s, but actually, it is simply the #Ignorance of #Islam. — Boot The Door And Shout Through The Crack
  66. In the dust of the Rabbi- Day 67
  67. Spiritual Sobriety: Stumbling Back to Faith When Good Religion Goes Bad
  68. On the Russian evangelism law
  69. Is doctrine important? What’s the danger in deviating from sound doctrine?
  70. Religions are Cults: I Refuse to Let Another Man Control my Life
  71. Suspected Cult Leader Disguised as Anti-Cult “Expert”
  72. Dangerous Cult: House Of Yahweh
  73. Goin’ Through The Gate
  74. Why you wouldn’t want to be a Jim Jones liberal
  75. Reclaiming the Church of God
  76. The Master Manipulator
  77. Ungracious “Grace” Leaders
  78. Bunkeroos vs. Scientologists
  79. Scientology Floggers
  80. China, Cults, And Persecution (oh my!)
  81. Beware of Shincheonji!!
  82. Video on the Shincheonji Cult!
  83. Is Young Life a cult?
  84. The recons flee defeated on Christology

+++

Christians having the right heart to call others to go to God

When calling yourself a Christian this has to mean you are following Christ Jesus, the Nazarene Jew who God declared to be His only begotten son.

Calling yourself Christian also means you want to become one with Christ, like Christ is one with his Father, the Only One True God. Such oneness shall not make you into God like it did not make Jesus into God. But your condition of your heart should come close to the condition of Jesus’ heart, full of joy in the willingness not to do your own will, like Jesus did not do his own will (which he would have done when he is God) but prepared at all times to do the Will of God.

As a follower of Jesus (what being a Christian also would mean), your heart should be full of love for others like Jesus had an incredible love for other people, even willing to die for them. All things were delivered unto Jesus of his Father. This man we should follow revealed the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. Jesus asked us to come unto him, all that labour and are heavy laden, and he will take care that we may find rest. As followers of Christ we do have to take Jesus’ yoke upon us and learn of him, for he was meek and humble of heart, and we shall find rest for our souls.

“27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:27-29 NIV)

We have our heart which functions as the source of thought and reflection.

“Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”” (Isaiah 6:10 NIV)

“21 For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean’.”” (Mark 7:21-23 NIV)

As Christians we should hear and try to understand what Jesus Christ tells the world and may we not ignore those things he says, like about his heavenly Father being greater than him. With our heart we should come to understanding

“Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.” (Deuteronomy 8:5 NIV)

“So he poured out on them his burning anger, the violence of war. It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand; it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.” (Isaiah 42:25 NIV)

The biblical truth we should take at heart and not the human doctrines which bring fog in our eyes and ears and wants us to believe doctrines which are not written in the Bible.

Therefore let us take the words of the Bible at heart in the knowledge that they provide wisdom to understand but also to rule justly and wisely, and discerns good and evil.

“I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” (1 Kings 3:12 NIV)

“The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.” (1 Kings 10:24 NIV)

“The king also said to Shimei, “You know in your heart all the wrong you did to my father David. Now the LORD will repay you for your wrongdoing.” (1 Kings 2:44 NIV)

Following the master teacher rabbi Jeshua, like the son of David, his ancestor and the other prophets send to the world, our heart should also represents the idea of will and conscience.

“Afterwards, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe.” (1 Samuel 24:5 NIV)

“David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”” (2 Samuel 24:10 NIV)

Let us request for a pure heart as a centre for decisions, obedience, devotion, and intentionality, which is the desire for a new and more perfect conscience.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalms 51:10 NIV)

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8 NIV)

“For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.” (2 Samuel 7:21 NIV)

His Only-begotten Son and the Word of God 1885...

His Only-begotten Son and the Word of God 1885-1896 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Within the heart we can meet God’s word, listen to it and take it at heart. It is there where it has to ripen and grow and where the seed has to be planted to become a disciple of Jesus, following his tasks, like going out into the world to preach that Word of God, bringing the Good News of the coming Kingdom. Like Jesus feared his heavenly Father and was a faithful servant to Jehovah, the God of Abraham, we too should become such a faithful servant and consider all the great things which come over us by the Grace of God.

“But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.” (1 Samuel 12:24 NIV)

“I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.” (Jeremiah 32:40 NIV)

“O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains.” (Psalms 116:16 NIV)

“”Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.” (Matthew 12:18 NIV)

“Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”” (Acts 4:30 NIV)

“”No-one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24 NIV)

“But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’” (Matthew 24:48 NIV)

“So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”” (Luke 17:10 NIV)

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—” (Romans 6:6 NIV)

“But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” (Romans 7:6 NIV)

“You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” (1 Corinthians 7:23 NIV)

“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13 NIV)

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14 NIV)

“”You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”” (John 18:37 NIV)

“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” (Revelation 12:17 NIV)

“He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.” (Acts 10:42 NIV)

We may have be bound by the world but our heart should leave that world of human beings who have no interest in God. Our heart should be open for them to call them to come to Jesus and his God, the only One true God, the God of Israel.

In our heart should be the location where conversion takes place.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalms 51:10 NIV)

“”Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”” (Joel 2:12 NIV)

“When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”” (Acts 2:37 NIV)

When our heart is at the right place, sharing the love of Christ with others, making us to a good example for others, we shall be able to bring those who may come open to receive the call of God, closer to the gates of the Kingdom of God, which is open for all those who come by Christ and live according to the Wishes of God.

+

Preceding articles:

Words to push and pull

As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude

Life is too precious

++

Additional reading

  1. A book of life and a man born more than two thousand years ago
  2. Letter to a Non-Christian Nation
  3. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  4. First mention of a solution against death 4 A seed for mankind
  5. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  6. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  7. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  8. The God of hope filling us with all joy and peace
  9. Counterfeit Gospels
  10. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  11. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  12. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  13. A disciple of Christ “hating” the world
  14. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  15. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  16. The Mountain: Radical Love
  17. To be chained by love for another one
  18. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  19. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
  20. Church has to grow through witness, not by proselytism
  21. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  22. Blogging in the world for Jesus and his Father
  23. Preaching by example
  24. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  25. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  26. Honor your own words as if they were an important contract
  27. If You want to start winning the war
  28. Let us make sure we are not stiff-necked
  29. What’s church for, anyway?
  30. Following the leader
  31. Followers with deepening
  32. Called Christian
  33. Only I can change my life
  34. Foundation to go the distance
  35. Let not sin reign in your mortal body
  36. Character transformed by the influence of our fellowships
  37. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  38. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  39. Not he who prays most or fasts most is the greatest saint
  40. Life is like a ten-speed bike.
  41. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  42. Can we not do what Jesus did?
  43. Life and attitude of a Christian
  44. Hope does not disappoint us

+++

Related articles

Building up the spirit of the soul

When you know the Spirit is the source of life you should also know that life without spirit and without the Spirit is impossible. When people think about the living person they think about the living soul which is the being which can exist because of the Divine Creator allowing it to exist.

Of Light and Shadow  says:

All life has soul. The soul tells the body what it is as it’s essence. What it will be. If something is one dimentional, what is it. It simply exists. It is what it is. Humans, animals, and plants have a living soul. Although different from each other. {Spiritual Senses, Opening your spiritual hearing}

Man thinking on a train journey.

Man thinking on a train journey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The above blogwriter considers that spirit is energy and exists throughout all the universe and forms all things even objects, though we can not see any life in such lifeless elements, like cupboards, houses, etc.. For us the spirit is just the ‘lifespirit’ or ‘breath of life’ which is God His and our thinking, handling, speaking and working.  It is an activity which may keeps the laws of physics in check and which can give impulses or carry with it everything a living thing is and capable of becoming.

A seed carries the potential of being a tree. {Spiritual Senses, Opening your spiritual hearing}

And so we may also carry the potential of growing up and becoming an adult who can think in a different way than the baby, toddler, young child, or adolescent. That spirit, our thinking and our soul is not something which lives next or separately in our body. It is not something which can leave our body to continue to live somewhere else. Once we die our spirit or breath goes out of our body and we finish living, thinking and handling. In our death we can do nothing any more.

Human being itself is the ‘soul’ wherein God blew His Breath of life. we may consider ourselves righteous, lovers of God, believers, wise, or perhaps not so wise, but we all are existing because God allows us to be. We only can do certain things because God allows it to happen and has given us certain crafts or capabilities.  All our works are in the hand of God.

The problem is that since the downfall in the Garden of Eden we all have good and bad things in us. We all carry love  but can bear hatred in ourselves. We all have to grow up and learn things, like Jesus also had to grow up and learn things. We all shall be tempted like Jesus also got tempted. Only God is the only One Who can not be tempted. God is also the only One Who can not die or cease living. god cannot expire or come to come to an end. When a person dies, that person breathes his last breath and dies. All human beings have the death thread in their tree of life. Even Jesus who did not sin had to face death and landed up in hell (sheol = the grave) for three days. We probably shall be there in the underground for longer.

Breath of Life - both sides

Breath of Life – both sides (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We may be sure that there is one event which shall be the same for rich and poor, to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good, and to the bad; both to the pure, and to the impure; both to him that sacrifices, and to him that does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; as is the swearer, even so is he that fears an oath.  After the madness of this world we all go to the dead. The living will know that they shall die; but the dead know nothing, and there is no longer any reward to them, for their memory is lost. Also their love and their hatred and their envy shall have perished when they die. Yea, there is no portion for them any-more, not an other being, a spirit or extra soul that will go out of their body and all the material they gathered in this worl shall be useless for them in their death.

When death comes to us it will be too late to change or to change our mind or path. When we did not enough preparations to enter the gate of the Kingdom of God it shall be totally too late.forever in all that is done under the sun.  It is before you die that you do have to build up your mind, make the right friends, find life with the wife whom you love, all the days of the life of your vanity, which are given to you under the sun; for that is your portion in your life, and in your labour in which you labour under the sun.  Whatsoever your hand shall find to do, do with all your might; for there is no work nor device nor knowledge nor wisdom in Hades/Sheol/the Hell or the Grave/Sepulchre, where you are going.  For Christians there does not exist a Hades, god of the netherworld and dispenser of earthly riches. Also his netherworld kingdom, the abode of the shades of the dead has no meaning for a Christian. Though the bastardisation of the Nazarene prophet Jeshua who is the son of God, to ‘Issou’ or ‘Jesus’ meaning “Hail to Zeus“, real Christians know Jeshua or the Christ is not Zeus the brother of Pluto, the god of the underworld which does not exist in the real universe of the Only One GodAfter you die you shall become dust again.

” Jehovah God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7 NHEBJE)

“1  For all this I laid to my heart, even to explore all this: that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God; whether it is love or hatred, man doesn’t know it; all is before them.  (2)  All things come alike to all. There is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good, to the clean, to the unclean, to him who sacrifices, and to him who doesn’t sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; he who takes an oath, as he who fears an oath.  (3)  This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one event to all: yes also, the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.  (4)  For to him who is joined with all the living there is hope; for a living dog is better than a dead lion.  (5)  For the living know that they will die, but the dead do not know anything, neither do they have any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.  (6)  Also their love, their hatred, and their envy has perished long ago; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.  (7)  Go your wayeat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works.  (8)  Let your garments be always white, and do not let your head lack oil.  (9)  Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your life of vanity, which he has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity: for that is your portion in life, and in your labor in which you labor under the sun.  (10)  Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol, where you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:1-10 NHEBJE)

“19  For that which happens to the sons of men happens to animals. Even one thing happens to them. As the one dies, so the other dies. Yes, they have all one breath; and man has no advantage over the animals: for all is vanity.  (20)  All go to one place. All are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.  (21)  Who knows the spirit of man, whether it goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, whether it goes downward to the earth?”  (22)  Therefore I saw that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his works; for that is his portion: for who can bring him to see what will be after him?” (Ecclesiastes 3:19-22 NHEBJE)

It is before we die we shall have to have build up knowledge. Gaining knowledge has to happen in the ‘now’, when we do live.

Adam heard the sound of God walking in the garden and heard his voice calling to him.
Samuel when he was young and living with Eli heard God calling his name. He heard it clearly and suspected that Eli was calling to him. He heard it the same as he would hear with his natural ears. {Spiritual Senses, Opening your spiritual hearing}

The Divine Creator, Jehovah, the Most High God, has given His Word to His creation. Each of us is part of that creation and can either listen to God His word or ignore it. In this world we are living in, most people have lost the notion of hearing God.

We have placed God beyond our understanding (and indeed he is) but we have also placed him beyond our experienceing (which He is not) We are called to experience God and have him in our lives. We just get so caught up with our daily lives we loose sight of him and our senses grow dull. Samuel said “Here I am.” We have to ready our mind and spirit to receive from our spiritual senses. We need to learn to pay attention to what they tell us. There are many places in the Bible where the voice of God was heard. Sometimes like a trumpet or a thunder. When Jesus was baptized the heavens opened and voice called out “This is my beloved Son, in whome i am well pleased.” {Spiritual Senses, Opening your spiritual hearing}

Lots of people, also many who call themselves Christian, do not want to listen to what God said about His son, nor to what Jesus said about him and his Father. They ignore what they have said and what is written down in the Bible, and made their own doctrines which all their church members do have to believe, because they so called can not understand it.  But God is not a God of disorder and incomprehension. God is a God of Clarity, and when He says “this is my son’ He means that person is His son and not Him.

We should listen to what God says, but then we first do have to be hearing God which

is not the only benefit of hearing in the spirit.

It is Jehovah God Whom we do have to ask to open our ears to hear

“the sounds of heaven”.

Through the ages many eyes may not have seen, nor ears heard what was really written in the Bible, not wiling to accept it as God His Word. Not willing to listen to it and not prepared to open their heart to it those Words of God could not enter into the hearts of those people. It is up to the lovers of God to call others and to let them know that God calls them. We should let others know that also they like we have the things prepared by Jehovah.

God has revealed so many things to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.  For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

Those who love God and are willing to come closer to Him with the assurance they did not receive the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, in order that they might know the things granted to them by God; which things we also speak, not in words taught in human wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

We should allow the Words of God feed us and should be pleased there are men of God willing to contribute to the work of the Lord, helping to spread the Good Tidings and to exhort or to give urgent advice, recommendations, or warnings to people around them. They are aware that the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can they know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  For them and us it is important to listen to those Bible readings, exhortations and devotionals knowing that he that is spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is discerned by no man.

“9  But as it is written, “Things which an eye did not see, and an ear did not hear, which did not enter into the heart of man, these God has prepared for those who love him.”  (10)  But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.  (11)  For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God, except God’s Spirit.  (12)  But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that were freely given to us by God.  (13)  Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.  (14)  Now the natural man does not receive the things of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  (15)  But he who is spiritual discerns all things, and he himself is judged by no one.” (1Corinthians 2:9-15 NHEBJE)

Living in this world we would like to find perfection. The Creator has given His commandment, which is very broad.  those who call themselves Christian should love God’s law and use it as their meditation all the day, so that God can make them wiser than their enemies. We can find God His testimonies as our meditation. Together, with other lovers of God, you can read the Bible and follow its guidance, seeking God His commandments and not those of man. Already in our life such bible reading shall keep back our feet from every evil away when we not depart from God His judgements; for He will instructed us. We can  gain understanding by God His commandments, looking daily in His Word and when we are willing to think about what He is saying to us. Having Daily Manna, when hating every way of unrighteousness we shall be able to find God His law as a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our paths.

“96  I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commands are boundless.  (97)  MEM How I love your Law! It is my meditation all day.  (98)  Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for your commandments are always with me.  (99)  I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.  (100)  I understand more than the aged, because I have kept your precepts.  (101)  I have kept my feet from every evil way, that I might observe your word.  (102)  I have not turned aside from your ordinances, for you have taught me.  (103)  How sweet are your promises to my taste, more than honey to my mouth!  (104)  Through your precepts, I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.  (105)  NUN Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path.  (106)  I have sworn, and have confirmed it, that I will obey your righteous ordinances.” (Psalm 119:96-106 NHEBJE)

Memoir and remains says

The Word of God functions like a light to illuminate both God’s nature and the human heart — and thus interaction between the two.

in Exegeting the Heart.1

The Gospel acknowledges how we have no claim upon God, God is not obliged to us– and yet, God blesses us supremely despite ourselves. A right understanding of the Gospel thus drives us to thankfulness. {Exegeting the Heart.1}

On this site we shall offer words of thought freely and we should carry them out and bring also words of meditation to others freely.

Where all is received freely, there is no cause of discontent: much of giving thanks if we have anything. When we look to desert, we may wonder more at what we have than what we want: if afflicted, destitute, kept low and bare, it is a wonder we are not in hell. All this is spoken because men are not thankful, We are eager till we have blessings, but when we have them, then barren in praises, unfruitful in obedience: like little children, forward to beg favours, but careless to acknowledge what they have received.  {Exegeting the Heart.1}

English: Bas-relief, River Wall, Calne This is...

Our meditation and breathing as a plumb-line to place the bricks of the church wall, strong but with a blow in the wind to bring the message worldwide of the Good News. – Bas-relief, River Wall, Calne This is one (and a half) of several similar pieces in the wall. They were made of ceramics by Richard Cowdy and Vivien ap Rhys Price to symbolize the theme of ‘Breath of Life’ inspired by the legend that the scientist Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen here.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should all serve God cheerfully  (Psalms 116:16, Psalms 123:2, 1 Corinthians 3:22-23, Malachi 3:18, John 12:26) and make use of His Word to show others which blessings can come unto mankind if they would listen to the Most High. That Word should be our plumbline in the body of Christ we would like to be part of. With it we can make sure that the walls of our congregation can be straight.

Like Mike Parsons with Jeremy Westcott wrote in A Plumbline, a Doorway and an Anchor

When we meditate on it (the word of God) we can picture what it talks about and use our imagination. We ought not to be scared to use our imagination: God has given it to us so that we can see things, picture them, and visualise them. Now some Christians are wary of concepts like ‘visualisation’ because they have been adopted by New Age and occult people. Even meditation is viewed with suspicion in some circles. But these things are not wrong in themselves. It is simply that we have to approach them afresh and learn how to use them in a godly way.

There are some Christians, also some Bible Students who find meditation is part of the heathen world. Mostly they have a limited view about meditation, thinking of Zen and Buddhist meditation.It depends how you want to look at meditation, being it a mental concentration on something or a way to transpose our being from this world or imagining something that gives us peace or satisfaction. You could say when we are looking for methods to slow down and, eventually, completely stop the incessant activity of our minds then we would also say that is not the meditation we are talking about. For us such exercises are not really meditation – they are substitutes for meditation because it is normally very difficult to stop our minds all-together.
But to come to a state of thoughtless awareness, as an act of doing nothing we also would not call it the right mediation.

The thoughts we would like to present on this platform should make us think and consider. They should bring us into a state of awareness. It may be short messages, but they may not miss their point in waking the state of consciousness. When we take a look at the various explanations of meditation, another thing we often see is that meditation is defined as taking a moment to sit quietly or to ponder. True meditation, however is much more than this. It is a state of profound, deep peace that occurs when the mind is calm and silent, yet completely alert. This is just the beginning of an inner transformation that takes us to a higher level of awareness. This enables us to fulfil our true human potential.

We either come  in this state or we are not, regardless of what we are doing in life. Truly, a man can be in meditation while doing his day’s labours as another man can be very far from meditation while sitting in a lotus posture on the top of a mountain. He can come in a dreaming state of consciousness, where his or her thoughts are far away from the Creator. When we speak about the meditation we as Christians should get it is not about a state of deep sleep in which the mind, the ego and the superego are still. No, for us it should be placing ourselves in the willingness to receive messages from our heavenly Father. It is giving our own ego in the hands of the Most High. It is not bringing ourselves in a state of thoughtless awareness beyond the mind, but bringing ourselves in a state where we allow God to enter our mind and to enlighten us by taking us deeper into His world of ‘sacral’ knowledge.

Meditation is a means of transforming the mind. The short messages we would like to bring regularly, as form of meditation, with the short quotes from the Bible, we would like to offer as a help or a tool to transform our character. It should bring us to take a moment to think about a certain matter and to let the text give us information how to change or how to build ourselves up to become a good Christian. Those texts may be from ordinary human beings, but they want to bring the focus on God His Word and to relate His Words to our daily life. The confrontation of every day, which we should not be afraid off.

Psalm 1 gives us a key to deeper fulfilment in every dimension of our being: meditation. Its essence is reading and reminding ourselves of the truths of God while dwelling in his presence. As we dwell on him with our minds, our other dimensions ignite, affecting our lives and relationships, infusing them with wisdom, stability, and delight.

According the Apostolic Resource Centre, which believes that Jesus intends the church to be instrumental in transforming human society and that he will be returning for a victorious church, a bride who has made herself ready for the King, to meditate we have to learn to use the right side of the brain, the creative/intuitive area.

we need to learn to activate that part of the brain so that we can see, and visualise, and experience spiritual realities, and especially the heavenly realms.

That flow of the spirit is revelation from the inside which comes as spontaneous thoughts and pictures and feelings. If we are not used to tuning in to them, they can slip past and we can miss them. It works like this. The air around us is full of radio and television signals of which we are not normally aware. But if we were to have a radio, turned on and tuned in, we would be able to hear whatever was playing on that particular station. If we had a TV set tuned in we would be able to see what was on that channel. And it is just the same with tuning in to God. {A Plumbline, a Doorway and an Anchor}

Therefore we do need to open our mind and give ourselves in the Hands of God. in case we are not willing to open our ears to the signals God is sending out all the time, we shall not be able to be comforted. We , when reading the bible or reading exhortations, should be willing to let the words come deep into us and should try to find its connection with other passages in the Bible. When we allow those Words from God give sense to those words from people and let them flow through our spirit, then we can let them become projected into the right side of our brain, so that we can hear His voice, see visions and pictures, and receive revelation from Him. We tune in to that through meditation.

Our imagination is the screen on which God projects things. But it can also receive images from our soul, from our subconscious, and we need to know the difference. Our imagination can play back experiences we have had in life. There may be a song, or a smell or a taste which can transport us instantly back to an experience we had many years previously. We can imagine it, recall it even feel the same feelings we had at the time (whether positive or negative).  {A Plumbline, a Doorway and an Anchor}

With those words from our brothers and sisters, who look at a certain Bible passage, we can ad some songs, like ‘Songs in the night’ and other previous publications from various Bible Students from several countries. Those meditations do not have restrictions by borders of countries. they may cross oceans and with internet we do hope to bring those messages all over the world. And each reader can carry the messages with him and bring it to others, so that the good News may be preached in far away parts of the world.

All those people may live far away from each other, but by reading the same texts and taking time to meditate on it and to say prayers over the same subject, we can connect with each other and join forces, being part of a world wide movement of people who want to learn from God His word and who are willing to help each other to grow by that Word of God.

We do hope we can contribute to the spreading of that Good News and to help you to meditate on God His Word. Wishing that we all can grow in ‘heavenly’ knowledge and grow as brothers and sisters in Christ.

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Preceding: Daily portion of heavenly food

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Additional reading:

  1. What is life?
  2. Darkness, light, burning fire, Truth and people in it
  3. Dying or not
  4. What happens when we die?
  5. Is there an Immortal soul
  6. The Soul not a ghost
  7. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  8. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  9. Sheol, Sheool, Sjeool, Hades, Hell, Grave, Tomb, Sepulchre
  10. A fact of History or just a fancy Story
  11. Jesus three days in hell
  12. The soul has no rainbow if the eyes have no tears
  13. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  14. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  15. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  16. Fragments from the Book of Job #1: chapters 1-12
  17. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  18. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  19. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  20. Fear and protection
  21. Atonement And Fellowship 5/8
  22. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  23. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #3 A voice to be taken Seriously
  24. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  25. Exhortation -Exhortatie of uiteenzetting
  26. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  27. Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro
  28. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  29. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  30. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  31. Are you being swept along by the world
  32. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof

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Other useful readings:

  1. Becoming People of “True Faith”
  2. Is There Still a Place for Religion?
  3. Spirituality and Your Health

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  • On Not Knowing the Soul (irrevspeckay.wordpress.com)
    The soul is either a very delicate thing, or an everlasting thing. It is disputable and indisputable. Self-evident and non-existent. A matter of belief and, for some, a matter beyond believing. It is the foundation upon which theologies have been built and kingdoms sold away. It is where we locate any immortality that might exist; it is where any sense of permanence might reside; it represents wholeness unyielding to the vagaries of disease and death (though, apparently, it is possible to be corrupted morally and bought through a deal with the devil). Even for those who are not sure what they believe happens upon the death of the body, the survival of the soul offers solace.
  • Are Soul & Spirit different? (bluegrassnotes.wordpress.com)
    if we are not trying to figure things out would there be that much to talk about. If we do not talk about the past, about others or about what we are trying to achieve in the future…..what’s left to talk about?
  • Breathe (markconner.typepad.com)
    No one I know really takes time to stop and think about his or her breathing. Yet, each day we take about 26,000 breaths. That’s about 14,000 litres of air. We should breath from our stomach not our chest … but when we are stressed, distracted, or moving too fast we don’t breath properly. We need only around 4-6 breaths a minute but most of us take around 16-20. Experts tell us that 99% of our energy should come from our breathing But most of us only access 10-20% of that available energy. [See Nooma 014 Breathe for more]
  • Is The Gift of God’s Holy Spirit Reviving You? (chronicillnesspaindevotionals.wordpress.com)
    Have you ever thought about what life was like for believers before the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost? Although certain individuals were anointed with the Spirit at various times, the continual gift of the Holy Spirit was not given to all believers until after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
  • Spirituality Science – Man Is a Spiritual Being (bhavanajagat.com)
    In my view, Soul or Spirit is the divine attribute of a material substance that Science describes as Protoplasm, Cytoplasm, or Cytosol, the Living Matter found in all living entities.The method called scientific inquiry is limited to observations or statements that can be further verified. The reality of Soul or Spirit when defined as the vital, animating, Life principle of all living things can be verified using scientific inquiry. There is a fundamental dualism between matter and matter. A distinction can be made between living and non-living, or animate and inanimate matter. In Natural Science, matter is defined as a thing that has Mass and hence it occupies Space. While Matter has physical dimensions such as weight, and volume, it has an immaterial dimension for it has attributes such as being immutable, and imperishable.
  • True Source of Joy (prayersofmysoul.wordpress.com)
    Whenever we focus on our troubles, we take our eyes off Jesus and we become blind to what he’s doing to help us. Spiritual growth means improving our self-control so that we focus on Jesus no matter what’s happening. The sooner we remember to do this, the sooner we see him again.Keeping our eyes on Jesus does not mean ignoring everything else. Quite the contrary! We are to look at the world and look at others with eyes wide open,fantasizing nothing, apathetic toward nothing, in denial over nothing, but viewing it all through the eyes andthe vision of Jesus Christ.Losing sight of Jesus makes us vulnerable to sin. Then, when we get in touch with our sins and realize that we’ve crucified Christ by hurting others and ourselves, we truly do mourn and weep, as Jesus prophesied in this Gospel reading. But notice that he added: “You will grieve for a time, but your grief will be turned into joy.”

    Jesus knows the answer! Keep your eyes on him. Follow him.

  • Revival (thispathcalledlife.wordpress.com)
    God is truly my compass. I will always find my way home because God points north.
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    Technically, we as humans get older because time moves forward and that constant covers many aspects of this path called life. With that said, I know I’m a new person through the Spirit within. Worldly Crysta died in the water that day. Sin lost it’s power and hold on me. I publicly declared I walk with Jesus until my last breath on this planet. Even in this confidence, I do have lingering emotions of Worldly Crysta. These emotions feel like the aftermath of a mint in my mouth I long ago finished. But the flavor faintly stings on my breath. As a growing Christian that raises an eyebrow and birthed a recurring thought: Did Worldly Crysta really die?
  • Jesus I love You, But Not Your Word (graceandtruth.me)
    Many times I said it. Even though I had always read the Bible, even from a young child. I read it a lot. I memorizedverses even. I believed it was truth, I believed it was the Word of God. And over and over God used His Word to teach me and to speak to me.But I didn’t love it.
  • The Ongoing Spiritual Battle (foodforthespiritualsoul.wordpress.com)
    While we focus on the things that we can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch, on this earth; we often lose sight of the Spiritual Battle that we, as Mankind, have been engaged in since the time of Adam and Eve. Upon that sin committed in the Garden of Eden, that is when God established Enmity between Man, and Satan and his evil. Harmony would never be reestablished again, until God’s Perfect Timing for it. God, the Creator, could only reestablish or “create peace” again, on this earth, as His Creation. As His Creations, we have consistently used His Gift of Freewill in choosing to rebel against Him; instead of following His Ways. We have consistently been seduced…enticed…and willingly chose to flirt with evil and it’s indulgent ways; when it was originally created for us to lead lives in perfect harmony, with His Guidance from Up Above.

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism

Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism

Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21, 22; John 1:31-34

MT3:13 Then Jesus came to the Jordan from Galilee, approaching John to be baptized by him. MT3:14 But John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you and yet you come to me?” MT3:15 Jesus replied and said to him, “Let it be this time for in this way it is proper for us to fulfill all righteousness.”[1] Then John stopped resisting. MT3:16 Having been baptized, and rising from the water, immediately, look! the skies[2] were opened up. Jesus saw God’s Pneuma[3] descending as if a dove[4] lighting[5] upon him. MT3:17 Look! a Voice[6] out of the Sky, saying, “This is my beloved Son[7] in whom I am well pleased.”[8]

 

[1]Fulfill all righteousness: In order to “fulfill all righteousness” it is necessary to be baptized after our Lord’s example.

[2]Skies: Or, heavens. The Greek word OURANOI (heavens) is used in a variety of ways and judging from the context here where the dove flies down to light on Jesus it must be that atmosphere were birds fly (Genesis 1:7, 20).

[3]Pneuma: Or, spirit; breath; wind. The force or pressure which emanates from God’s Mind. This is the “anointing” of Isaiah 61:1 (Luke 4:16). Compare also Isaiah 11:1-3

[4]Dove: The bird Noah released from the Ark.

[5]Lighting: Or, ALF: coming; KNX: resting. Here the Greek ERKHOMENON means arrived.

[6]Voice: The first of three times the actual Voice of God is heard, each in the presence of Jesus. The same One who speaks at Psalm 2:7 and Psalm 110:4. As God spoke to the first perfect man, Adam, He now speaks to this second Man.

[7]Son: We may suggest that the one here named Jesus becomes God’s “Son” in several ways: 1. Creation; 2. Birth as Perfect Man; 3.as spirit-begotten Child; 4. by resurrection; and, by enthronement in the heavens.

[8]Well pleased: The language is very similar to Isaiah 42:1.

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Francesco Albani's The Baptism of Christ

Francesco Albani’s The Baptism of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was possible for all the people standing around John the Baptist and his cousin Jesus (Jeshua) to see two men of flesh and blood, standing in the water. Above them appeared a pigeon in an incredible light, like lightening. They also heard a Voice clearly saying “This is my beloved Son”. It can well be that many did not know Whose Voice it was and what it meant that Jesus was the son of the One speaking. In the Old Testament we are told that the Elohim Hashem Jehovah does not tell lies. therefore we should well take into account that God did not tell that it was Him having come down on the earth, but He said that it was His son.

“And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”” (Matthew 3:17 NIV)

“God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfil?” (Numbers 23:19 NIV)

“Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness—and I will not lie to David—” (Psalms 89:35 NIV)

“He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind.”” (1 Samuel 15:29 NIV)

“a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,” (Titus 1:2 NIV)

“God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.” (Hebrews 6:18 NIV)

In case Jesus would have been God those who saw him would have fallen death, because nobody can see God and live, according to the Word of God. Nobody can see God, but we can hear Him, and at the baptism of Christ Jesus they clearly heard what He said. are you willing to believe what God said and worship the real Only One God Who we must worship in spirit and truth?

“But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no-one may see me and live.”” (Exodus 33:20 NIV)

“And you said, “The LORD our God has shown us his glory and his majesty, and we have heard his voice from the fire. Today we have seen that a man can live even if God speaks with him.” (Deuteronomy 5:24 NIV)

“God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.”” (John 4:24 NIV)

 

 

Preceding:

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:15-17 – The Baptisms of the One Coming

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:21-23 – The Baptism of Christ

 

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  1. On the Nature of Christ
  2. The Naturalness of Jesus
  3. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  4. Church sent into the world
  5. Only One God
  6. God of gods
  7. God is one
  8. Attributes to God
  9. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  10. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  11. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  12. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  13. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  14. Jesus Messiah
  15. Jesus and his God
  16. The high calling of God in Christ Jesus
  17. On the Nature of Christ
  18. Servant of his Father
  19. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  20. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  21. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  22. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  23. A Messiah to die
  24. Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son

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